The Diocese of Truro has been awarded bronze in the national Eco Church award system which recognises the environmental work achieved by churches and church organisations.

The diocese registered for consideration for this award in February 2021, when it created its Creation Care Group and its Diocesan Environment Board.

Rosey Sanders, who serves as clerk to the committee of the Diocesan Environment Board has expressed her excitement and joy at this significant achievement.

“I’m really thrilled both for the diocese and for the parishes,” she says. “It’s not a top-down thing – it’s us and the parishes working together – that’s crucial. It’s a great acknowledgment of their work. It reminds us that if we all do small things together, then we can actually achieve real change. Our parishes should be proud of themselves for this achievement, and everyone across the diocese who’s contributed to it should feel proud too.”

The award recognised that five per cent of churches in the diocese have now earned their own Eco Church awards, and that ten per cent have registered into the Eco Church process. It also required that Church House itself earn such an award, which it achieved in August 2022.

In working towards this award, the diocese has embedded environmental issues within its ongoing ministerial training. For example, it ran a continuing ministerial development day on these topics in March 2022, followed by a Bishop’s study day that June.

Diocesan Synod in May 2022 focused on Creation Care and Net Zero, and in February 2023 the diocese implemented an ethical investment strategy, divesting its investments in fossil fuels.

It’s also established a partnership with the Diocese of Exeter in order to share resources, knowledge and skills in the implementation of key aspects of its Net Zero strategies.

“This is just the start,” says Rosey. “We’re aiming for a lot more.

“I’m passionate about the environment and the state it’s in at the moment. It’s deeply connected to our faith. I really want to do as much as I possibly can. If I’m just the conduit – the glue that gets people to work together on this – then I’m very happy to be that.”

Environment officer for the diocese, Revd Ben Lillie, was deeply gratified by the news that the diocese had won this award.

“Looking at the Eco Church website and seeing our diocese highlighted for this is a great thrill – especially knowing how much work has gone into this from people across the diocese – and especially from Rosey,” he says. “It’s been a huge effort on everyone’s part. It’s a great sign of the recognition of our strategy as a diocese that sees that creation justice must sit at the centre of all that we do, as part of the full mission of Christ.”